Lipid metabolism in trained rats: effect of guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart.) supplementation

Clin Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6):1019-28. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2005.08.004. Epub 2005 Sep 22.


Background and aims: Guarana is widely consumed by athletes, either in supplements or in soft drinks, under the belief that it presents ergogenic and "fat burning" effects. We examined the effect of guarana supplementation (14 days) upon aspects of lipid metabolism in sedentary (C) and trained rats (T).

Methods: To isolate the effect of caffeine from that of other components of guarana, we adopted two different doses of whole extract (G1-0.130 g/kg; G2-0.325 g/kg) or decaffeinated extract (DG1, DG2). Body weight, food and water intake; muscle fat content, oleate incorporation, glycogen content, and carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT I) activity and mRNA expression; along with plasma lactate concentration, were assessed.

Results: Muscle oleate incorporation was decreased in rats receiving decaffeinated guarana in relation to G1 and G2; as was CPT I mRNA expression in the gastrocnemius. Whole extract supplementation, but not DG induced reduced plasma lactate concentration in trained rats. G1 showed higher muscle glycogen content compared with all other groups. The results show an effect of guarana on aspects of lipid metabolism, which is abolished by decaffeination.

Conclusion: The changes in lipid metabolism of supplemented rats herein reported are associated with the methylxanthine content of guarana.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Oleic Acid / metabolism
  • Paullinia / chemistry*
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Xanthines / pharmacology*


  • Plant Extracts
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Xanthines
  • methylxanthine
  • Oleic Acid
  • Caffeine
  • Glycogen